TikTok advertising has a lot of potential to maximize your brand awareness, revenue, and audience engagement. This social channel is rapidly expanding and its future looks promising for businesses and marketers.
Of the 4.8 billion internet users, 21% use TikTok! And although this social channel has been around for a shorter time, it has more monthly active users than Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, and Telegram.
But what do successful TikTok advertising campaigns look like?
Does this social platform work for every business?
And what audience demographics can you expect to find on TikTok?
Don’t worry! We’ve done in-depth research to develop this ultimate guide on TikTok advertising, how to set up TikTok ad campaigns, and key demographics for this platform.
Plus, we have the top TikTok advertising tips and examples to inspire a results-driven campaign and accelerate your bottom line.
Ready to learn everything you need to know about TikTok advertising?
Here we go!
32% of TikTok users are between 10 and 19 years, 30% are between 20 and 29, and users 50+ make up the lowest audience segment by age. Of all these users, a whopping 60% are Gen Z’ers! Females are most active on TikTok at 57%, while there are only 43% of men use this social channel. Overall, there are more than 700 million TikTok users and counting!
And guess what?
People on TikTok love this app! The average user opens TikTok around 8 times a day and spends 1.5 hours on it. And 83% of these users have taken to this platform and posted content, while 35% of these users have also participated in at least one hashtag challenge.
But that’s not all TikTok users enjoy, and 64% love using face filters and effects. There’s clearly a lot of engagement in this platform and Medikix confirms TikTok boasts an impressive average engagement rate of 29%.
Source: Jordan Platten
TikTok advertising can get your business in front of thousands of potential customers, as 55% of users rely on TikTok discover new brands and products.
But is TikTok advertising right for your business?
Well, it depends on your target audience and marketing goals.
If you’re promoting content that would appeal to a younger, engaged audience, then TikTok advertising is ideal for your business.
However, if you’re targeting older buyers in specific niches, TikTok advertising may be challenging.
Here are a few factors to consider when you evaluate if TikTok advertising is best for your business:
Your audience’s age group and interests determine if TikTok advertising would boost your ROI and brand growth. If your business targets buyers between 13 and 30, TikTok advertising is a worthwhile social channel. The percentage of US-based TikTok users proves that people in this age group are more likely to see your products and services.
If your target is an older age bracket, for example, people aged 50+, it might be hard to reach them on TikTok, as they make up only 7% of TikTok users and spend the least time on the app. TikTok advertising is also best for businesses that target young women, as they make up the majority of users (57% of TikTok users are female).
TikTok advertising can be expensive compared to other social media platforms. Ads on this social channel start at $10 CPM (Cost Per 1000 views). At a minimum, you must spend around $500 on a TikTok ad campaign. This figure is no doubt super expensive and it doesn’t get any better.
For hashtag challenges, brands spend around $150,000 per week, and for 5-minute brand takeover ads, about $50,000 per day. TikTok advertising campaigns demand a high upfront investment. This won’t work for many small to mid-level businesses.
But how do you pay to secure TikTok ad placements?
TikTok ads work on a bidding system, known as the ad auction. You’ll compete against other brands in your niche to secure an ad spot and reach your target audience. There are 3 main ways you can pay for TikTok ads:
TikTok has a strict content policy restricting users from posting branded content that promotes several products. These products include:
Check out TikTok’s content policy before you plan your advertising campaign. If your business is in a restricted niche, do extensive research to find out how you can go about TikTok advertising without breaking the rules. However, this might not be possible for some businesses, leaving them with no option but to skip TikTok advertising altogether.
What are your business goals? Are they clearly defined? Do they align with TikTok advertising? What is your expected marketing campaign outcome? Is it short-term or long-term?
These are questions to be asked before putting your marketing campaign on TikTok to determine if TikTok and your business are a good fit. TikTok isn’t a quick fix. You need to invest a lot of time, money, and resources into generating profit from this social channel. It’s also ideal to use TikTok advertising for marketing goals like brand awareness and loyalty compared to direct sales.
Summary: Is TikTok Ads Right for Your Business?
These are factors to evaluate to determine if TikTok advertising works for your business:
Only you can know what’s right for your business, but if you’re considering TikTok marketing, here are 7 TikTok advertising benefits!
Building, implementing, and running ad campaigns is daunting if you don’t have much experience. While enterprises may have the excess cash to invest in TikTok marketing agencies or in-house marketers, not all brands have this option. Fortunately, TikTok is a super intuitive platform, and it’s really easy to develop engaging TikTok ads.
The key to results-driven TikTok ads is organic content. Users want to relate to the content and creators they interact with on TikTok. Because of this, you can keep your TikTok ads simple and personal without requiring high-level video production and promotion.
There are many dynamic TikTok ad formats to play around with. These formats include brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, top-view ads, in-feed ads, collection ads, and branded effects. We’ll dive into the details of all these TikTok advertising formats and how businesses use them below!
With so many impactful ad formats, it’s easy for businesses to develop innovative ad campaigns with the potential for virality. You can experiment with different TikTok ad formats to pinpoint which formats work best for your marketing goals.
If you’re running a social media contest, a hashtag challenge would be ideal. But you could rely on in-feed ads for typical brand awareness campaigns.
There are over a hundred thousand influencers on TikTok. It won’t be challenging to find TikTok influencers for conversion-driven campaigns that garner brand awareness and credibility. Influencers on TikTok can put your brand in front of thousands of targeted buyers and amplify your reach. You can also use this marketing medium to reach smaller, more niche audience segments on TikTok.
Popular TikTok influencers such as Charli D’Amelio, Bella Poarch, and Khaby Lame have forged successful partnerships with various businesses worldwide. These influencer partnerships are super valuable for brands, as TikTok influencers have an average engagement rate of 17.96%, significantly higher than on YouTube and Instagram.
These are the top influencers on TikTok to consider for your ad campaign:
TikTok advertising boils down to buyer-centric, organic content that aligns with relevant trends on the platform. Because you’re not just relying on a static image but a dynamic video and catchy sound, it’s much easier to grab users’ attention and engage them. Users prefer ads that can entertain while subtly nudging them toward the product.
This is a significant benefit for businesses as they know what to focus their TikTok advertising efforts on – trendy content! TikTok users understand how impactful TikTok advertising content is as 70% believe the biggest trends start on TikTok and that TikTok content can inspire cultural change.
So, how do you create super engaging content for TikTok with a good chance of going viral?
It’s far from easy, but here are the top tips to create and promote TikTok content that connects with your target audience and becomes the next trend:
Another significant benefit of TikTok advertising is how hooked users are on this platform. TikTok audiences love this social channel and spend a lot of time on it! TikTok has over 1.5 billion monthly active users, and 8 new users join this platform every second.
After joining TikTok, users are pretty close to being addicted as they spend more than 20 hours per month on the platform. TikTok users spend around 10 minutes per session on TikTok, which is super high compared to other social channels. For context, Pinterest has the second-highest minutes per session, but this is only half of TikTok’s at about 5 minutes.
All this engagement on TikTok results in one massive outcome – users spend loads of cash on TikTok. All in all, TikTok audiences spend more than $2.3 billion every year on this app!
But how do you leverage these super impressive TikTok engagement statistics and get on this action?
Here are the top tips for maximizing engagement on TikTok:
Summary: 5 TikTok Advertising Benefits
Here’s a comparison of TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram ads:
These are the top 6 types of TikTok ads and how to use them for your business:
We’ll speak about this TikTok first because I bet you’ve seen it loads of times before! Brand Takeover ads are full-screen static or dynamic ads that play for about 3 to 5 seconds as users open the TikTok app for the first time that day. They are similar to non-skippable YouTube ads, and show when a user opens TikTok. Users are not permitted to like or comment (aside from clicking your CTA).
Brand takeover ads on TikTok work because they take a strong focus on visual engagement. Remember, users can’t skip these ads either. However, brands can include a CTA link to their landing page or website to drive traffic from TikTok.
But how do businesses secure brand takeover ads?
It’s a tricky process. Every day businesses have to outcompete their competitors through ad bidding. Only one brand in each niche lands a brand takeover ad every day. So, if you didn’t get lucky today, you can try again tomorrow. However, because of how exclusive this TikTok ad format is, generally only large businesses/budgets can afford to bid for brand takeover ads.
Top-view TikTok ads appear at the top of the “For You” page on TikTok, and businesses can use a full-screen video for up to 60 seconds to feature their products.
These ads are highly impactful because your ad is prominently featured, in an unmissable spot.
This TikTok ad format is similar like brand takeover ads, but with a twist. Top-view ads aren’t as invasive as brand takeover ads, and they only play in users’ feeds after they’ve opened TikTok for three seconds.
We deem top-view ads TikTok’s most valuable real estate advertising space because it drives insane brand awareness. Think about it – most ads on TikTok are short, so there’s a lot you can do with am full 60 seconds. Plus, they’re in a position where users can’t miss these ads, and the auto-play feature doesn’t give users a choice before the ads can hook them.
Branded hashtag challenges are a fantastic way to promote user-generated content and connect with your audience’s creative side. How these TikTok ad formats work is simple – users create and post content with your branded hashtag, and the best content wins! You can have your target audio do silly acts like funny dances, harmless pranks, or group activities that spark inspiration.
Many brands like Walmart and KIA have used branded hashtag challenges in advertising campaigns, sales, and social movements. To make your branded hashtag challenge work, ensure it’s easy for users to understand and participate. You should also offer a worthwhile incentive!
Imagine if your target audience could create and promote content with customized effects from your brand. Well, TikTok makes this possible! You can create custom effects, filters, stickers with your brand colors and logo so users can use these elements for their content. This means they’ll have your branding on their posts!
Not only is this an excellent way to gain user-generated content, but you’re also developing brand loyalty and awareness.
You can use branded effects in 2 ways:
Here’s a great example of branded effects ads by Colgate:
Collection ads allow users to browse through your products without leaving the app. Users don’t have to leave TikTok to visit your website. Instead, they are led to an Instant Gallery Page, where they can view your products easily. Collection ads work because you can create a user-centric experience on TikTok enabling your target audience to explore your products without getting them to click on a CTA (which isn’t guaranteed).
You don’t have to choose to use either TikTok ad formats or collections. Brands should use collection ads alongside other TikTok ad campaigns. Again, this acts as a safety net if users don’t get to your website. You can use all the top features of TikTok ads – full-screen experience, trendy audio, and a dynamic video while keeping your target buyers on the platform.
Source: TikTok for Business
In-feed TikTok video ads are the most common ad formats. These are videos that appear in a target user’s feed to engage them. These embedded videos auto-play in a user’s “For You” feed, and you can use a video up to 60 seconds long. Yet, 15 seconds is the sweet spot for in-feed video ads.
What works about in-feed video ads compared to the other TikTok ad formats we’ve explored is how native these ads are. They appear like typical content on TikTok so users don’t feel they’re bombarded with marketing material. You can use this TikTok ad format for many more purposes compared to some of the other ad types. In-feed video ads work for direct sales, brand awareness, and customer engagement.
Summary: 6 Types of TikTok Ads
Here are 7 steps to build, manage and grow your TikTok ad campaign:
If you don’t already have one, the first step is to create a TikTok account. As a business, it is ideal to create an account on the TikTok Business Manager page.
Fill in the required information – your email and password and click “Sign Up”. You’ll receive an email informing you that your account has been approved. If you don’t get immediate approval, a customer service representative will contact you and let you know if your business qualifies for the service.
You also need to clearly define your objectives, and TikTok will ask what you want to achieve with your ad campaign.
The campaign objectives you can pick from include:
Adding a pixel helps collect valuable information about the TikTok users directed to your website. A pixel is a code added to your website and gives you information about your TikTok user’s location, how they arrived on your site, and the device used.
You can acquire this code by setting up a Web Event in the TikTok Ads Manager interface.
Review the cookie settings to ensure you’re collecting accurate data.
Paste the resulting code into your website header to get it working perfectly. Make sure the pixel is installed correctly (the TikTok Pixel Helper plugin will make this easy).
You can set up a campaign by clicking the “Create” button on the TikTok Ads dashboard.
You can choose between creating your campaign in simplified or custom mode. We suggest opting for custom mode so you can tailor your campaign to your TikTok advertising audience and goals.
Give your campaign a name that suits your goals and objectives, and think about your marketing strategy (for example gaining app downloads, channel follows, new affiliates or recruiting influencers).
Remember, your campaign strategy could make or break your TikTok marketing, so set up one that suits your marketing goals and objectives.
Because of this, it’s best to strategize specific goals you want your campaign to achieve before creating it, as the goals will inform the methods you use, and how you measure your progress and results.
There’s much more to creating ad campaigns on TikTok, so let’s continue!
Your budget is the core of your campaign because it defines the extent of your reach and performance. The budget you set for your TikTok ad campaign determines what ad formats you’ll use, how you plan to work with influencers and your overall strategy. The higher your budget, the more flexibility you have, but this isn’t realistic for many businesses.
TikTok allows you to set a budget for the entire campaign or a daily budget (whatever works for you). There is a ‘No Limit’ campaign budget option, which is generally inadvisable for most businesses. Remember, TikTok, like you, is a business so avoid this option unless you intend to make TikTok SUPER rich!
TikTok advertising offers you three levels of ads; an overall campaign, ad groups within the campaign, and individual ads within the ad groups.
Ad groups allow you to refine your targeting and segment your audience. You can set different audience segments for different ad groups, allowing you to deliver personalized marketing messaging.
These are the top factors to consider when creating your ad group:
Source: TikTok For Business
After creating an ad group, you can finally create the ad itself! This is where it the fun part begins. There are various ways you can create impactful TikTok ads, but it depends on your preferred advertising format. You’ll start on the creative aspects of your ad, before bidding!
Most TikTok ads require you to manually bid on an ad slot to reach your audience (auction ads). You can pay on a cost-per-view, cost-per-click, or cost-per-mile basis.
As previously mentioned, you can also customize your ads based on your target audience’s location, gender, age, or occupation.
Depending on whether you have a high-level TikTok ad campaign, you might require a TikTok account manager to help with the specifics. TikTok provides these account managers and chooses which ad campaigns need one.
Creating a TikTok ad might not be too tricky or time consuming depending on the ads you want to create. TikTok is all about promoting organic content that connects with your target audience, so keep your ads simple and authentic.
Once you’ve gone through all these steps to create and promote TikTok ads, you can’t just turn your back and focus on the next project. Businesses must consistently monitor and track their TikTok ads to determine their performance. If your campaign is lacking, you’ll have the required data to make swift changes and direct it toward success. You’ll also have benchmarks to use for your next TikTok ad campaign.
Here are some of the key metrics to track for TikTok ad campaigns:
So, how do businesses gain all this data?
TikTok has built-in tracking and analytics so you can seamlessly access and leverage these insights!
Summary: TikTok Ads Campaign Setup Guide in 7 Steps
Now that you know how to create TikTok ad campaigns, let’s explore the best practices for TikTok advertising:
Before creating ads on TikTok, get clued up on their ad policies to avoid unforeseen sanctions or even an account ban. Marketers and advertisers need to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to their targeted audience and region.
For example, TikTok’s policy on illegal activities and drugs states that ad creatives & landing pages must not promote or display any content relating to these topics. However, this varies by region and in the US from state to state, with some offering more flexibility than others. This is just one example of the plethora of regulations for the kinds of ads you can promote on TikTok.
TikTok offers a variety of ad formats for businesses depending on your preference and ad campaign goals. This gives you a chance to pick the format that is best suited to your business and your style. So, before creating your ad, take out time to pick out the ad format that suits your business type, goals, budget and marketing campaign the best.
Here are all the available TikTok ad formats:
Also, TikTok requests all brands ensure their advertised products and landing pages relate to each other, to prevent confusion. Not only that, the language must be the same language that the ad’s target audience uses for TikTok. Fortunately, a variety of languages are available on TikTok, so localizing your content won’t be challenging.
While planning your campaign, it’s ideal to look into TikTok ad specs and guidelines to avoid a crisis or wasted budget.
When planning your short-form video, keep in mind that:
In almost every social media marketing campaign, influencer marketing plays a crucial role because they are the key to reaching thousands of users. However, be strategic in how you find, choose and manage your influencers. Unfortunately, like on all social media platforms, there are many fake influencers lurking on TikTok that look very legitimate at a glance. Do some research and make sure they’re genuine before you work with them (influencer platforms and agencies can be very useful for this).
However, this doesn’t mean you have to shoot for a super well-known influencer with millions of followers. Micro influencers may work better for your campaign. The point is to take time evaluating your ideal influencer’s credibility and audience. They should also have some experience working with brands like yours.
TikTok Creative Ads Center is a tool where marketers can find their next great idea for their content! Yup, TikTok is a pretty amazing platform.
You can search for viral trends, videos, and hashtags based on keywords, sounds, and regions. Doing this will help you gauge what’s hot and what’s not in the TikTok landscape. It will also help you decide on a content and influencer strategy for your TikTok marketing campaigns.
Do you know your target audience well enough to know what interests them? What keeps them hooked? Avoid using language that oversells your product. Instead, focus on ‘showing rather than telling’ customers about your product. Take advantage of trending TikTok hashtags and memes, identify your niche and create valuable, entertaining, content users actually want to watch.
TikTok’s lead generation tool makes building your lead lists so much easier and quicker. When users click on your ad’s CTA, an instant form will appear providing key information about your brand. You can customize these forms to let your audience in on all your most valuable aspects and features as a business. These instant forms also allow users to leave their contact details. You can connect third-party tools like Zapier or custom APIs so you can feed your leads into your CRM system and convert them.
Your TikTok ads could be super entertaining and trendy. But you can’t drive web traffic or convert users without a compelling CTA? The trick here isn’t to make your CTA salesy. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again – TikTok users engage with and act on organic content. So, you want your CTA to directly tell users what to do after seeing your ad but in a way that highlights the benefit for them. For example, “Get These Tips for a Healthy Diet” or “Get Your Hair Growth Serum”, rather the more obvious “Buy Now” type CTAs.
Narrowing down on your target audience is always a brain teaser for results-driven ad campaigns. But TikTok makes this a whole lot easier!
The custom audience tool helps you find users who already know or have engaged with your business. This advantage would save your marketing so much time as you don’t have to stress about extensive audience research and analysis.
With the custom audiences tool, you have automated data to assign specific user segments to ad groups based on people who have already interacted with your brand on TikTok.
Did you know you can integrate your favorite tools with TikTok to boost your performance and workflows? You connect TikTok’s built-in functions, like the Custom Audiences tool with software like Google Sheets and Salesforce. By integrating TikTok with third-party apps it’s easier to track, manage and export your data while collaborating with your team and influencers.
Managing your content schedule will also be so much simpler. You can connect your automated content scheduling tool to post content on TikTok without manual effort.
Your TikTok audience wants to see the real you. What makes you special? What makes your business standout from it’s competitors? Users need to know you so they can trust you and your business. Be real and relatable, don’t over-polish your productions, and give your audience insights into who your brand is, what your values are and why developing a brand-to-consumer relationship matters to you and your audience.
With TikTok ads manager, you can keep track of your ad’s performance, the status of your ads groups and campaigns, and of course your ad spend. Checking your performance metrics, and overall CTR, CPC, CPA and CPM is a great way to manage your campaigns and guide your strategy adjustments for success. Not only that, you can create custom reports with TikTok report templates; you can download them or schedule delivery at a specific time convenient for you.
Summary: 12 TikTok Ads Best Practices
Here are some great examples of successful TikTok Ads:
The grocery chain, Kroger, took advantage branded hashtag challenge’s and created a hashtag, #TransformUrDorm, throughout the back-to-school shopping season. TikTok users had fun decorating their dorm rooms with products from Kroger and posted videos of their finished spaces.
Yes, eBay uses TikTok advertising too! This example is fantastic because it used such simple content. They created an in-feed promotional video and included a trending song, with just a one-line caption. The purpose of this video was to promote the connection between sneakers, culture and music. Considering TikTok’s demographic is mainly young users, this campaign marketed products fit for TikTok’s audiences.
Plus, eBay went the extra mile and used a branded hashtag challenge too: #LaceEmUp. Excited TikTokers posted videos of themselves busting their favorite moves in their favorite shoes!
The fashion brand Boss launched a campaign in December 2020 that featured celebrities, influencers, and TikTok creators from different parts of the world. Boss went further to release an original song for the campaign by LODEF ft. Fleur East (titled Boss) which greatly increased the brand’s exposure. The drive behind this campaign was to generate awareness about the fashion brand’s new Christmas collection.
And of course, they included a hashtag challenge: #MerryBOSSmas, and branded effects!
Acome is an Indonesian smartphone accessories brand that was founded in 2019. As they focus on the younger customers who shop online, they decided to take advantage of TikTok’s in-feed ads and promote their mobile phone accessories. Acome used the TikTok ads manager to set up a custom audience for their campaign and collaborated with TikTok creators like @ivyfeb and @pingkyruslie. This very simple campaign generated significant results and very high engagement.
Who doesn’t love pancakes and TikTok? As part of it’s 2021 rebranding strategy, IHOP took to TikTok to create awareness about their new identity and what this means for their products. The pancake brand leveraged TikTok by collaborating with influencer, DJ @IsaacLikes_ and creating a series of organic in-feed ads. These ads highlighted IHOP’s transformation and the best features of their products!
Guess is a world-renowned fashion brand famous for its creative designs and iconic logo pieces. The brand wanted to promote its Fall’18 Denim Fit Collection, targeted at Gen Z and millennials. So, they launched the #InMyDenim challenge, where users showed off their Denim fashion style. Again, this brand identified their target audience and found how powerful TikTok advertising would be because of who they’re targeting.
Since Smyth Jewelers has been in the jewelry game for over a century. You’d think think their marketing campaigns would be archaic, but this brand pulled out their very best for TikTok advertising done right. Using TikTok in-feed ads, Smyth Jewelers created a series of fun, personalized videos that featured “what your diamond shape says about you” for horoscope enthusiasts.
TikTok advertising is a great way to reach thousands of Gen Z’ers. Users on this platform spend a lot of time on it and love the content they interact with. This advantage makes it easier to connect and convert TikTok users. There are many ad formats you can use, and setting up a TikTok campaign is easy in only 7 steps! Many brands like eBay. GUESS and Hugo Boss have exhausted TikTok advertising and accelerated their engagement and exposure.
If you're targeting Gen Z'ers and you have a generous lump sum to invest in TikTok ads, this platform will work for you. You should also have long-term marketing goals and consider the marketing regulations for your niche. Read this article for the best TikTok advertising campaign set up steps, examples and types of ads.
The best ad formats for TikTok advertising include in-feed video ads, brand takeover ads, topview ads, collection ads and branded hashtag challenges. You can also use brand effects for TikTok advertising. Read this full article for an ultimate guide on how to advertise on TikTok.
To create a TikTok advertising campaign start by creating a TikTok Business account, add a pixel, configure your ad campaign, set a budget, create an ad group, create your ad and monitor and track your campaign. This article outlines the top tips and strategies for TikTok advertising done right.
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